Greek and Roman Theatre. By: Shannon Roark . Roman Theatre. Roman theatre was very similar to Greek theatre. Borrowed Greek ideas and improved on them Less philosophical
Greek and Roman Theatre
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Encompassed more than drama : acrobatics, gladiators, jugglers, athletics, chariots races, naumachia (sea battles), boxing, venationes (animal fights)
Entertainment tended to be grandiose, sentimental, diversionary
Actors / performers were called "histriones"
Major influences on Roman Theatre
Etruscan influences – emphasized circus-like elements
FabulaAtellana – Atellan farces (Atella was near Naples).
Forms of Roman Theatre
Roman Drama – there are only about 200 years that are important:
Livius Andronicus – 240 – 204 B.C. – wrote, translated, or adapted comedies and tragedies, the first important works in Latin. Little is known, but he seems to have been best at tragedy.
Forms of Roman Theatre (cont.)
GnaeusNaevius – 270-201 B.C. excelled at comedy, but wrote both
Both helped to "Romanize" the drama by introducing Roman allusions into the Greek originals and using Roman stories.
Roman Theatre Design- Buildings
General characteristics:Built on level ground with stadium-style seating (audience raised)Skene becomes scaena – joined with audience to form one architectural unit Paradoi become vomitorium into orchestra and audienceOrchestra becomes half-circle
Roman Theatre Design- Buildings (cont.)
Stage raised to five feetStages were large – 20-40 feet deep, 100-300 feet long, could seat 10-15,000 people3-5 doors in rear wall and at least one in the wingsscaena frons – façade of the stage house – had columns, niches, porticoes, statues – paintedstage was covered with a roofdressing rooms in side wingstrap doors were commonawning over the audience to protect them from the sun, during the empire around 78 B.C, .cooling system – air blowing over streams of waterarea in from of the scaena called the proskene (proscenium)